Posts Tagged ‘Use Your Illusion II’

use your illusion 2For this week’s album of the week, I decided to choose an album from Guns N Roses considering all of the buzz that is going around as far as the reunion is concerned. I have already covered Use Your Illusion 1 from the band and now it’s time to finish that off today. Just like the first one, the album Use Your Illusion II was also released on September 17, 1991 and despite both albums released on the same day, this one did a lot better. The album once again featured Axl Rose (Vocals), Slash (Guitars), Izzy Stradlin (Guitars), Duff McKagan (Bass), Dizzy Reed (Keys), and Matt Sorum (Drums) along with one track featuring original drummer Steven Adler on drums. Just in it’s first week alone, the album sold 770,000 copies to Use Your Illusion 1’s 685,000 landing this album at number one on it’s debut. The album alone has sold over seven million copies making it go seven times platinum. The album also went number one on the Billboard End Of Decade Charts (1990-1999) which is pretty amazing given the albums released in the 90’s.

use your illusion 2 back1. Civil War– In an interview with Rockline, Duff McKagan explained how the protest track came about, “Basically it was a riff that we would do at sound-checks. Axl came up with a couple of lines at the beginning. And… I went in a peace march, when I was a little kid, with my mom. I was like four years old. For Martin Luther King. And that’s when: “Did you wear the black arm band when they shot the man who said: ‘Peace could last forever’?” It’s just true-life experiences, really.” This seven plus minute epic described that all war was civil and what a powerful statement this song was. This is also the only track on the album that features former drummer Steven Adler. 5/5

2. 14 Years– One of the only songs on the album sung entirely by Izzy Stradlin with Axl singing the chorus. The song is supposedly about Stradlin and Rose’s friendship which was about 14 years by the time the song was written, but it more than likely has to do with a guy and his relationship dealing with a girl for so long. 4.5/5

3. Yesterdays– My favorite song on the whole album that is a power ballad, but it’s lyrical content is so powerful in my opinion. The song’s lyrics deal with forgetting about all the things that have happened in the past or things that you didn’t get to do because yesterday’s got nothing for me. 5/5

4. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door– Both albums had a cover song and this Bob Dylan cover was the one for this album. 5/5

5. Get In The Ring– Is a very controversial song that sees Axl firing back at all of his critics for the bad reviews they gave him. Critics like Andy Secher (Hit Parader), Circus, Mick Wall (Kerrang!),  and Bob Guccione, Jr. (Spin). 4/5

Use Your Illusion 2 CD6. Shotgun Blues– an in your face rock track from the band that has some punk attitude to it and some very aggressive lyrics. 4/5

7. Breakdown– a track that features Slash playing Banjo on the song. According to Slash, this was the most difficult song on the album to record. It’s not all banjos and pianos as this track turns into a bad ass rock song. 4/5

8. Pretty Tied Up– Izzy Stradlin once descibed the lyrics of the song and it’s content saying, “My Mexican friend Tony took me to meet this woman named Margot at her house. She gave us some tequila or something and she goes in the bedroom and we walk in and there’s this big fat naked guy with an onion in his mouth. He’s wearing women’s underwear and high heels and he’s tied up with duct tape against the wall. Me and Tony were like, What the fuck is going on here? Cracking up laughing. She was this dominatrix chick.” I love the Sitar in the beginning of this bad ass rock song that just shreds. 5/5

9. Locomotive (Complicity)– This is the band’s adventure into Funk Metal probably influenced by Faith No More. The track features a cool piano part towards the end of it 4.5/5

10. So Fine– A track that was written in memory of Johnny Thunders by Duff McKagan who also sang lead vocals on the track. 4.5/5

GNR311. Estranged– This nine minute guitar/piano epic is one of the best songs on the album and it’s also the second longest GNR track ever recorded. 5/5

12. You Could Be Mine– This was the lead single off the album and it’s one of the coolest rock songs the band has ever written in my opinion because it has balls. The song is supposedly about Izzy’s failed relationship with his ex-girlfriend Angela Nicoletti. 5/5

13. Don’t Cry (Alternate Lyrics)– This is the alternate lyrics version of the ballad that appeared on this album. 5/5

14. My World– it’s only 1:24 long, but the industrial tinged  track was written while the band was high on shrooms according to Axl. 4/5

My Final Thoughts– These two albums showcased the writing talent that was behind Guns N Roses. It was the band evolving into what they could have been later on had they all continued together. You can guarantee that a lot of the tracks on this album will be played live on their 21 city reunion tour and I cannot wait. I am going to give the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

aaEveryone was looking forward to performances from A Day To Remember, Guns N Roses, and even Zakk Wylde’s, but nobody saw this coming at the 2014 Revolver Golden God Awards which was Slayer opening the show as the surprise performer. One of the things people expect at this particular awards show is to see who the surprise guest performer will be, but Slayer didn’t need it as the bulldozed their way through classics South Of Heaven, War Ensemble, and the premiere of a brand new track Implode. It was especially cool to see Marilyn Manson intro the band in. Right after Slayer was done with their set, it was time to meet this year’s hosts of the show since Chris Jericho wasn’t doing it this year. Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine of VH1 Classics That Metal Show were the hosts and their intro was horrible. Then it was off to the first presenters of the show as Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park came out to present The Best Vocalist Award (see below for complete list of winners), then that was followed by Dave Navarro and Jill Janus of Huntress presenting the Best Live Band Award.

a dayFrankie Palmeri of Emmure came out next to present the next live band of the night which was A Day To Remember who brought something completely different than Slayer, but they pleased the crowd as the band performed hit songs such as Right Back At It Again, End Of Me, and their closer All I Want. They were the second band to perform and still no surprise guest on stage with which is unusual at this point in the show. Then there was some technical difficulties as we waited for the cameras to show us Tony Hawk and Carmen Electra who were presenting the best live band award which was won by Avenged Sevenfold. They weren’t at The Nokia Theater, but they were brought in via satellite from a gig in Minneapolis where they gave the award away to a fan from the crowd. Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach and a couple of members from Memphis May Fire came out next to present the best new band award.

maxThen the legendary Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein along with the sexy brand new lead singer of Arch Enemy Alissa White-Gluz to intro The Pretty Reckless who were the next band to perform that night. Taylor Momsen is beautiful and very sexual on stage as most of you may know, but she has an amazing band that backs her up as they had one heck of a performance. The band performed their tracks Fucked Up World, Heaven Knows, and Going To Hell. Zakk Wylde would eventually come out to do a special Piano performance of In This River to pay tribute to all that have fallen over the years, but who was working the special video screwed up saying that Jani Lane was the singer for Motorhead. Then more technical difficulties plagued the show as we waited for Suicide Silence to take the stage to perform for the first time with their brand new singer Eddie Hermida. The band would play the tracks You Only Live Once and No Pity For A Coward, but it was their last song that was amazing. The band brought out Max Cavalera of Soulfly/Sepultura fame and they performed Roots on stage together that had me saying thank God someone finally had a guest on stage.

joan jettAlice Cooper presented The Golden God Award to Joan Jett who mentioned The Runaways. After her speech, she wanted to perform, but they nixed it so that Alice could introduce the performance. She opened up her performance with a rocking version of Bad Reputation which was tearing up the house. The next track she performed was a track that she had written with Dave Grohl called Any Weather which captured the spirit of the Blackhearts. Then Joan Jett & The Blackhearts were on fire with the next song I Hate Myself For Loving You for which she was joined onstage by Taylor Momsen. What I didn’t understand is that after the performance was done they performed it again to which Billy Gibbons would join them on stage to be the cheerleader. It was one heck of a performance anyways, but I believe they may have been shooting a version for television.

gnrAndrew Dice Clay came out to present the video montage for Axl Rose while Nicolas Cage presented Axl Rose of  Guns N Rose with the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award. Of course from that point on, we were wondering how long it was going to take for the band to actual perform. The crowd was definitely anxiously awaiting the band to hit the stage as we also knew that Duff McKagan would be performing with the band. The band eventually came out and started rocking right away with It’s So Easy. The band would blaze through one of my all time favorite tracks Welcome To The Jungle with a killer intro by DJ Ashba. One thing I will admit is that Axl’s vocals were a little off tonight when it came to his high notes. Then for the third track of the night they would dig into their latest album Chinese Democracy with the Better. The band would then perform This I Love from Chinese Democracy. Then the band kicked into the kickass Use Your Illusion II track You Could Be Mine. The band would continue with Sweet Child Of Mine and a Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/November Rain medley after Axl introduced the whole band to the crowd. My final thoughts on the show is that I thought it could have been executed a little bit better than it had been in the past. I certainly miss having Chris Jericho hosting the show, but after a while the boys from That Metal Show did fine.

Awards:

Best Vocalist- Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age

Best Live Band- Rob Zombie

Most Dedicated Fans- Avenged Sevenfold

Best New Talent- Twelve Foot Ninja

Paul Gray Best Bassist- Chris Kael

Best Drummer- Arin Ilejay

Comeback Of The Year- Deep Purple

Best Film & Video- This Is A Wasteland by Pierce The Veil

Song Of The Year- Lift Me Up by Five Finger Death Punch

Most Metal Athlete- Josh Barnett

Golden God Award- Joan Jett

Dimebag Darrell Best Guitarist- Zacky Vengeance & Synyster Gates

Album Of The Year- 13 by Black Sabbath

Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award- Axl Rose of Guns N Roses

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